The digital world merry-go-round
by Restore Hope Executive Director Pam Congdon
Please don't tell me you don't know what a merry go-round is. If you did, it really wouldn't surprise me as our world has changed so much in the last few years. When kids have to get their homework assignments on the computer, when thirty second graders walk into their computer class as a normal part of their learning, when kids sitting next to each other on the couch text each other instead of talking, and when your teenage daughter's inappropriate picture is sent out for the whole world to see, we know our world has changed forever.
Today's social networking and mobile phones make a parent's job even more complicated. It's up to parents (and grandparents) to learn the information necessary to stay connected with our kids.
My number one question is . . . . when you send a text, digital picture from your phone, post something on Facebook or Instagram, where does it all go? Who sees it, and can you ever get it back?
Parents, be aware we need to catch up. Our kids know so much more than we do about social media networks, and it's time for us to catch up. and not just for us to be more up-to-date, but to be informed and inform our kids about the pitfalls and danger this new knowledge can bring. We are not the enemy, but there are enemies out in cyber space, and we need to know how to help prevent our kids from getting caught up in this unprotected digital world.
By understanding the potential threats children face, you can educate, empower, and protect your children and allow them to have a more meaningful online experience. It's an adult's job to keep our children safe. Help us get off the merry-go-round and approach the digital world with knowledge and confidence. It's here to stay.
Several good websites where you can get help with internet safety: